Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Small-billed Elaenia (Elaenia parvirostris)


French: Élénie à bec court German: Dreibinden-Olivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío piquicorto

Elainea [sic] parvirostris


, 1868,

Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil


Has been suggested as perhaps conspecific with vocally similar E. albiceps, but genetic data#R indicate otherwise; the two hybridize in narrow area in S Bolivia. Reported hybridization between present species and E. mesoleuca in SE Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul) disputed by some authors. “E. aenigma” is a synonym. Monotypic.


E & SE Bolivia, Paraguay, S Brazil (São Paulo S to Rio Grande do Sul), NE Argentina (S to Buenos Aires) and Uruguay. In winter N to Amazon Basin and as far as NE Colombia, N Venezuela, Leeward Antilles, Trinidad and the Guianas.

Descriptive notes

c. 14·5 cm. Small elaenia with white coronal patch and three distinct wingbars. Has narrow whitish eyering, small white coronal patch; rest of top half of head, and entire... read more


Song “cher-br”, similar to that of E. albiceps, also a “chee-oh”, and “chit-chit-chea-oh-... read more


Variety of woodland and forest habitats, especially edges and openings. Found in towns, gardens,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects; regularly also small fruits or berries. Perches upright, often in lower levels of shrubs and edge, but also in canopy. Usually... read more


Sept–Mar. Nest a neat cup 6·5 cm in diameter, 5 cm deep, constructed of small twigs and vegetable fibres, entire exterior decorated... read more


Highly migratory. Moves N after breeding; spends austral winter (Apr–Oct) across all of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common; widespread in non-breeding season. Occurs in most national parks and other protected areas within its range. Preference for edges and more... read more

Recommended citation

Hosner, P. (2020). Small-billed Elaenia (Elaenia parvirostris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 January 2020).